Runner of the Year
Although Jackson won another state championship and finished second in two events, by her own standards this year’s Spring Fling state meet was somewhat of a disappointment for the Howard junior. Although she dominated the 100-meter individual event, winning her third straight state title, Jackson did not break her state record time. And with two freshman members of the sprint relay teams, Howard also failed to win the 4x100 event for the first time in three years.
Jackson’s anchor leg in getting the 4x200 team to a second-place finish left her unable to compete in the individual 200. That typically is her strongest event, and one she had won the two previous seasons.
“I know my time in the 100 wasn’t bad, but I expected to break my record,” said Jackson, who still ran it faster than any other girl, regardless of classification. “I hate to say I’m disappointed, but that wasn’t my best race. But I’ve got next year to get better and hopefully come back and do something really special in my last high school races.”
Howard finished fourth in the Class A/AA state team standings.
Coach of the Year
Capped by a fourth consecutive Division II state championship, McMahan coached his 20th set of Lady Red Raiders to an undefeated seasons, which included winning the Optimist Championship, the Mid-South Championship and the D-II East Region title. Baylor won three events at the state meet and had 14 athletes finish in the top three of their respective events, winning the state title by 39.5 points over second-place GPS. The Lady Red Raiders also finished fourth at the prestigious Vol Classic, the highest of any Tennessee team.
“We won three events, but our depth was the big key in helping us win the state,” McMahan said. “I knew GPS would be our chief competition, and we had a lot of girls who came through with really good personal races. They really bought into the team concept. We had a lot of really good athletes who did whatever it took for the good of the team.
“Four years ago we had a really good group of athletes. Several of them were really young, and they have set the pace for what we expect every year now.”
She had the area’s top discus and shot put distances and finished second in both in the Division II state meet.
She won her second consecutive long jump state title and was second in the Class A/AA 100 and 4x100.
The Mississippi State signee won the Class A/AA state 3200-, 1600- and 800-meter individual runs.
The Florida signee finished third in the Division II state 3200 and also qualified in the 1600 run.
The Georgia Southern signee won the Division II 800 and helped Baylor claim its fourth straight state title.
The Vanderbilt signee was first in the state in the 1600, second in the 800 and third in the 3200.
She won the state triple jump and was second in the long jump and 100 hurdles and third in the 300 hurdles.
She finished second in the Division II state meet in the 400 and was fifth in the 100 and 200 dashes.
She was the Class A/AA state 200 runner-up and also helped Howard’s 4x200 relay team finish second.
She was second in the state triple jump, third in pentathlon, long jump and high jump and fourth in the 100 hurdles.
Teams of the year
The Lady Red Raiders again were dominant as a team, winning every meet they entered this season, including the Division II state for the fourth time in a row.
With six second-place finishes and one state champion, the Bruisers finished as runners-up at the Division II state meet.
Despite a disappointing finish in the 4x100, which they had dominated the last two years, the Lady Hustlin’ Tigers finished fourth in the Class A/AA state meet.
Qetuwrah Abdullah-Muhammad Cleveland Freshman
Abbie Dill Baylor Senior
Rachel Greenwall Baylor Senior
Jeshayla King Howard Sophomore
Chelsea Mills Red Bank Junior
Tiana Mills GPS Sophomore
Alex Mullin Notre Dame Senior
Jeneh Perry GPS Junior
Deroneasha Smartt Howard Sophomore
Haley Ward McMinn County Sophomore